The next 18 months are going to be pretty interesting for carriers, agencies, and purveyors of technologies for the insurance industry as a whole.

According to the One Agency Universe Study, these are the top 5 most important issues to address leading up to 2020:

  • IoT for commercial lines – 25%
  • Usage-Based Insurance – 30%
  • Sharing Economy – 36%
  • Client’s Cyber Risk / Data Security – 41%
  • New Insurance Products – 51% . 
–ia – jan 2019



It’s almost impossible not to predict the success of IoT(internet of things) in this space. If data is the new game, then connected devices are the vehicle by which this data is channelled.

The applications for commercial lines are vast, not to mention needed. One reason why IoT is so suitable for this sector of the industry is because there’s no as much a concern for privacy issues.

And of course with better data comes the ability for carriers to write better risk.

The thing to figure out for carriers is the value prop and how is it going to get packaged for small and mid-sized businesses.


Most of the applications for UBI (user based insurance) have been in personal auto. It’s funny because we’re giving Google an insane amount of personal information every day, yet consumers still don’t want to be tracked when it comes to these devices.

Check this resource out, but don’t freak about what you’re going to learn regarding your personal data, just absorb it! Same goes for Facebook by the way.

WARNING: You’ll never use your phone the same way again!

According to Forrester research, 33% of consumers say they are unlikely to purchase UBI, compared to 28% who are likely to purchase, and 21% who fall somewhere in the middle. But despite that level of interest, Carney says actual adoption of UBI remains in the 2-3%. 

–ia – jan 2019 – Ellen Carney, principal analyst, digital business strategy at Forrester, Inc.

The commercial side presents a less problematic application for UBI, especially in commercial auto. Nevertheless there are still too many unknowns for carriers to feel entirely comfortable with this tech.


THE SHARING ECONOMY continues to be a black box for carriers. Though currently limited to cars and homes, the sharing economy will continue to expand in the next few years.

We’re starting to figure out that we can leverage our assets to make money. The challenge is that none of these assets are currently covered, nor are there any products that can bridge the gap in risk in the marketplace at the moment.

Certainly there are all kinds of solutions that cater to the imagination on how to leverage these assets, here are a few:

  • – list your property for backyard camping
  • – same concept but for your RV or trailer
  • – a place where you can sell your surplus garden produce
  • – for local pet sitting options. Spend time with a pet without owning one!
  • – I’m sure you’ve used it already. But talk about disrupting the food delivery space.

This trend is here and is not going away, on the contrary. The question is –as it continues to expand how do you manage the risk?

Here are a couple of pretty nifty reports on the topic.

Of the twenty-seven reports on the topic I had time to review, these two have the most relevant info for P&C Carriers and the sharing economy :

 The Sharing Economy – Implications for Property & Casualty Insurers 

 Squaring Risk in the Sharing Age 


CYBER RISK AND DATA SEC is a topic most everyone is familiar with. Whether you’re Sony, Target, or just Johnny from New Jersey whose FB account was hacked, this is a problem for everyone!

Here’s an article that will raise the hair in the back of your neck on the 18th biggest data breaches of the 21 Century

FYI  –Of the fifteen hacked companies listed on the article, eight of them have MY PERSONAL INFORMATION… Scary!

According to Forrester research only 12% of small business purchased cyber coverage in 2017.

The biggest challenge in the cyber market is risk modeling, because it’s so easy to misprice due to poor understanding of the actual risk, and the fact that they are using actuarial assumptions based on professional liability insurance.

“There are a lot of carriers now that are chasing cyber business and they’re not necessarily pricing it appropriately, because they don’t fully understand the risks.” 

–ia – jan 2019 – Jay Sarzen, Senior Analyst on the insurance team at Aite Group


There’s a fast approaching demand for NEW INSURANCE PRODUCTS. As society continues to leverage the gig and sharing economy in addition to new home business proliferation, there’s already a massive gap in exposure.

Expect innovation in the microinsurance space, also referred to as on-demand insurance. We want flexible solutions to our risk needs, like travel insurance for a day, insure a piece of expensive equipment you borrowed for an event. There’s no limit to product-market matching in microinsurance.

This doesn’t mean that traditional coverages are exempt from innovation culture, on the contrary. If something needs to be innovated, it’s the legacy way of managing risks, like flood coverage options in the private market for example!

“Folks are still not getting answers from FEMA about Matthew, and that was two years ago.” 

–ia – jan 2019. Owen Thomas, Agent & Senior account Exec, Dial Insurance

Bottom line regarding these trends and issues  –The insurers taking risks in new product innovation which meet consumers at the point of demand, will be the ones that will, hands down, become blue ocean companies in the next decade.


*Content sourced from the printed version of – ia – jan 2019 article titled “Wish List 2020What Emerging Issues and Trends Do Carriers Need to Address in The Next Two Years? – written by Jacquelyn Connelly.

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